Two child immigration activists who have both had their fathers deported or detained confronted John Boehner today, and the Speaker’s cold reaction confirmed that he doesn’t care about people.
The two activists Carmen Lima, 13, of Arizona, and Jennifer Martinez, 16, of Washington state confronted Boehner at breakfast and respectfully asked him to do everything in his power to move immigration reform forward. Lima asked Boehner, “How would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of 10 that you were never coming home?” Boehner’s detached reply was,”That wouldn’t be good.”
Speaker Boehner gave the same excuse to the girls that he gives to everybody. Boehner said that passing immigration reform is hard, “I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done. It’s, as you know, not easy, not going to be an easy path forward. But, I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that it’s time to get this done.”
After speaking to the girls, Rep. Boehner announced that there is no way that the House will be taking up the Senate passed immigration reform bill, “We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.”
In watching the video, the problem with Boehner’s reaction to the girls and their story is that he seems completely disinterested. Boehner never expressed any sympathy for what the kids have gone through, and made more eye contact with his breakfast than with the girls once his food arrived.
It’s true that people are entitled to their privacy, and Boehner probably wanted to eat his breakfast, but a few kind words would not have taken any more of his time.
My impression is that John Boehner doesn’t seem to care about regular people unless they have a check in their hands. He was cold and distant, and Boehner definitely gave off the vibe of someone who lacks the common touch.
We can now see that the lack of compassion among House Republicans begins at the top. The girls got to tell their story to the Speaker of the House, but it doesn’t seem like Boehner noticed or cared.
Boehner’s reaction demonstrated that our government won’t work for the people until we elect men and women who care about people.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.